MORE details on plans for a new outdoor food and drink scheme in Ponteland have been revealed.

In September, Northumberland County Council approved a licence application from popular restaurant Rialto for a bar and seating area at the back of the site, which is currently used as overspill parking.

Now Rialto has applied to Northumberland County Council seeking permission for a change of use from vacant land to mixed use development of a market square known as 'The Orchard' comprising of market stall, street food vendors and retail units.

The Orchard will accommodate 340 people, with space for 276 seated guests on the ground floor and mezzanine level.

Stalls will include a florist, artisan bakery, a coffee stall, and three street food vendors.

According to a design and access statement submitted by GW Architectural, a tree will form a centrepiece for the semi-circular development.

There will be a large canopy, which according to the statement, will "shelter the area protecting the market square from weather as well as providing an acoustic barrier from nearby properties."

The double height shipping containers, at either side of the site, will be painted anthracite, and the applicants say there will be "extensive" planting of flowering species to reflect the nature of the site.

The total area for the proposed development is 1204sqm, with an internal area of 928sqm.

There would be 21 on-site parking spaces, and revised access arrangements are also proposed.

Access for visitors arriving by car will be through a one-way system from West Road, in between the Seven Stars pub and the former HSBC building.

The design and access statement said: "The proposed one-way road is more favourable than the existing narrow two-way access road from West Road as it provides a rational route with drop off bay's midway."

Pedestrian access will be via the current access to Rialto's car park.

Existing parking arrangements to the rear of Lloyds TSB, HSBC and Rialto restaurant will be unaffected.

According to the application, the scheme will provide 14 full-time jobs, and eight part-time roles.

Rialto’s original plans for the site prompted more than 100 objections ahead of the council licensing hearing last year.

That prompted restaurant bosses to drop their initial request for permission to stage live music and to agree to limit the venue’s capacity to 350.

For more details, visit the county council's planning portal and search reference number 22/00186/FUL